Through-Channel Demand Generation 101

If you’re a seasoned marketer or salesperson, you know how effective demand generation can be in driving interest toward your business and solutions. But do your Channel Partners get it? Without education and resources on the “right way” to do demand gen, they’re likely passing up lucrative opportunities to engage prospects.

Let’s examine what demand generation really means, and modern strategies to leverage to drive more business through your channel. 

What Exactly is Demand Generation? 

More than just an early funnel marketing strategy, HubSpot defines it as:

  • An umbrella of marketing tactics that get customers excited about your company’s product and services. 
  • Strategies to help your organization reach new markets, promote new product features, build consumer buzz, generate PR, and re-engage existing customers. 
  • Touch points throughout the conversion optimization and sales cycles 

With an emphasis on personalization, demand gen activities support the entire marketing and sales cycle, from initial prospect interest to lead nurturing to the first sale and cross-selling.

Demand Gen vs. Lead Gen: 

Although they often overlap, it’s important to distinguish between lead and demand generation. Unlike lead generation, demand gen doesn’t necessarily involve closing a deal or upselling. Rather, it creates awareness and interest, while lead gen focuses on turning that interest into new or recurring business. Simply put, lead gen is just one component of a larger holistic demand generation strategy. Because lead gen focuses on top-of-funnel performance, while demand gen focuses on full-funnel performance, the activities used to support each are also different.

Demand Generation activities Include:

  • Content and inbound marketing
  • Event marketing
  • Social media/ social selling
  • Paid advertising
  • Lead nurturing and scoring
  • Program measurement 
  • Sales enablement 

Lead Generation activities Include:

  • Sales content like whitepapers, eBooks, and case studies
  • Inbound content like company website and landing page forms
  • Webinars
  • Targeted advertising and Ad retargeting
  • Live events

Through-Channel Demand Gen Done RIGHT

The biggest challenge with through-channel demand generation is that most of the tactics used literally haven’t evolved in over ten years. Vendors are still throwing away millions of dollars on platforms that Channel Partners aren’t using. In the past, Partners didn’t have access to their own marketing automation tools. Instead, they relied on what Vendors provided, which limited the way they captured and nurtured leads. Things have changed, people! Your Partners today are quite capable and comfortable working with online platforms. And they actually understand the value of social selling, which has impacted and shifted the way they drive demand. They’re also far more concerned with promoting their own brand and services, with a strong focus around selling business outcomes rather than products. 

Support Your Partners the Right Way

With the right resources and education, you can successfully enable your Partners to drive demand with today’s digital-savvy decision-makers: 

  • Provide Partners with multimedia content including video, webinars and podcasts that they can personalize in order to execute compelling demand generation campaigns. 
  • Help Partners streamline prospect education with content they can easily personalize and quickly share using mediums that make the most sense for them, i.e. email, text, social, web, etc. 
  • Ensure Partners remain compliant with CAN-SPAM laws, GDPR, CCPA or any future regulations by not requiring them to load their contacts into multiple Vendor platforms.

Interested in learning more about how Spark Your Channel empowers Channel Partners and salespeople to drive more demand through personalized multimedia content? That’s what we’re here for!